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GODSTICKS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Godsticks biography
Hailing from South Wales, U.K., GODSTICKS are a three-piece progressive heavy rock band whose music has frequently been described as imaginative and original. Their musical style is intricate yet accessible; an abundance of melody played with precision and panache.

The band released their eponymously titled EP at the beginning of 2009, with little in the way of promotion or expectation. To their surprise, the sheer originality of the music was greeted with enthusiasm and the EP received overwhelmingly positive reviews with the band being considered "a refreshing approach to the contemporary music scene".

The current band line-up has existed since 2010. Drummer, Steve ROBERTS, was hired by founding member Darran CHARLES to play on the debut EP but almost immediately became an integral part of the band's sound and had little option other than to join. Bassist Dan NELSON joined a short time later (original bass player Jason MARSH left in late 2009), having been discovered by Darran via a YouTube video Dan had posted of himself playing a GODSTICKS tune.

In July 2010, the band released their debut full-length album "Spiral Vendetta" - the culmination of 16 months of writing and a lengthy production process. The extensive production proved worth it as the album received a unanimously positive response, being described as 'mesmerising'. One reviewer said: "Spiral Vendetta has it all in spades with chops, emotion, musicality and imagination, the songs pack a breathtaking amount into concise pieces and the album in no way outstays its welcome."

A worldwide distribution deal was secured on the strength of the debut album and the band completed a number of tours and festivals, supporting such acts as THE PINEAPPLE THIEF. In March 2012, GODSTICKS were also the supporting act on a 5-date UK tour with THE ARISTOCRATS; featuring world-renowned guitarist Guthrie GOVAN. The tour was a huge success and introduced the band to a much wider audience.

At the end of that tour the band went into the studio to record their second album, "The Envisage Conundrum". The recent and extensive live work had influenced the newer material and it became much heavier and more guitar-driven. None of the band's vaunted originality was lost but "The Envisage Conundrum" represented a more focused and settled band, still offering an eclectic array of songs, but in a much more accessible package.

"The Envisage Conundrum" was released in 2013 and packed a ...
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Buy GODSTICKS Music


Envisage ConundrumEnvisage Conundrum
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$8.77
$19.95 (used)
EmergenceEmergence
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$18.21
$12.79 (used)
Spiral VendettaSpiral Vendetta
Import
AMZV9 2011
Audio CD$12.78
$7.06 (used)
Spiral Vendetta by GodsticksSpiral Vendetta by Godsticks
Godsticks
Audio CD$66.70
Envisage Conundrum by Godsticks (2013-02-12)Envisage Conundrum by Godsticks (2013-02-12)
Ais
Audio CD$48.54
GodsticksGodsticks
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$29.11
$17.47 (used)
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GODSTICKS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

GODSTICKS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GODSTICKS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 17 ratings
Spiral Vendetta
2010
3.61 | 18 ratings
The Envisage Conundrum
2013
3.92 | 15 ratings
Emergence
2015

GODSTICKS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GODSTICKS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GODSTICKS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GODSTICKS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 7 ratings
Godsticks
2008

GODSTICKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Envisage Conundrum by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 18 ratings

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The Envisage Conundrum
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I remember when GODSTICKS were added to the site here and the buzz around that. I did pick up their debut album at the time which I thought was a good 3 star album. This is their second release and there's not a lot to pick between the two hence my 3 star rating here. In a way this recording feels like it's in no-man's land as it's not heavy despite the hints of it, neither is it too mellow, it's somewhere in between. By the way the band feel that their latest "Emergence" released in 2015 is finally the album where they found their sound. And it's heavy! I like the Alternative vibe on here which comes mostly from the vocals.

"Convergence" is the short intro track that is quite spacey. "Caught In A Bind" is a top three track for me and I like the heaviness early on with the crunchy guitar. It settles back as the vocals join in. Nice bass and drum work here. It becomes fuller with backing vocals until we get this short but enjoyable instrumental section then the vocals return. "The Envisage Conundrum" has this heavy, rumbling soundscape as the guitar plays over top. Vocals join in. A top three tune. "In A Way That Ended Me" has this piano intro before it turns fuller. I like the soaring guitar as well as how understated this song is. Vocals do arrive as well. "Benchmark" is another restrained vocal track and I enjoy the intricate instrumental work. "Submerged" has some energy to it as the vocals join in, but it settles into a mid-paced vocal track.

"A Brief Foray" is another mid-paced vocal track but perhaps more laid back than the earlier ones. "Disclosure" is a nervy attempt by the band in my opinion as we get piano melodies throughout. By the way they got rid of the keyboards on their next album. "Borderstomp Pt.1" has a heavy intro to it that I like as the vocals join in in this Alternative sounding piece. "Borderstomp Pt.2" has this restrained heaviness that I like with vocals. Nice guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes and before 5 1/2 minutes. "Borderstomp Pt.3" is my final top three song and it's because of the heaviness, love the riffs. Soaring guitar after 4 1/2 minutes when the vocals have stopped. The guitar goes on and on, so good! "Raised Concerns" opens with acoustic guitar as the reserved vocals join in. It's a little fuller after 1 1/2 minutes. Then we get a nice piano interlude before 3 minutes and vocals are back a minute later. Some violin late.

Another good one from this band but they really did find their sound with the latest "Emergence".

 Emergence by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.92 | 15 ratings

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Emergence
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by crashandridemusic

4 stars Hailing from South Wales, Godsticks are Darran Charles (vocals/guitar/keys), Steve Roberts (drums/keys), and Dan Nelson (bass). Despite their 'progressive' tag, they are much more than that, ranging even towards that grungy hard rock and metal sound reminiscent of great rock bands from the 90's and 00's like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. This is easily evidenced in the opening track 'Below the Belt,' with those deep, chuggy chords in the verse that hit you below the belt, and with a bridge section similar to older Riverside material. But just because 'Emergence' contains such a deep sound doesn't mean it is universally low. 'All That Remains' is by far the softest song on this album, containing acoustic guitars, subdued drum beats, orchestral instruments, and even guest vocalist Kaysha Louvain. The lighter feel is inserted directly into the middle of this album, the perfect interlude for the second half of this aggressive album.

The keyboards in this album are so subtle, they almost go unnoticed. Contributed by Darran and Steve, there are plenty of moments where lighter and higher tones pass through the headphones, standing out from the low sound of the album if your listening for it. Take the intro to 'Ruin,' where the keyboards are at their most apparent. Even with the arrangement, the listener can't help but focus on the high hat and snare of the drum set. Songs like 'Exit Stage Right' and the instrumental 'Leave Or Be Left' have beautiful moments with the keyboards complementing groovy bass lines, something I'd like to see more of with their next album. I feel the presence of the keyboards are the perfect palate cleanser, considering the album would be repetitively and consistently boring with its bassy atmosphere.

I love to hear Darran's chromatic voice dancing around the scales used in every song. His delivery is very unique, residing somewhere between mellow and energetic. Despite having a relatively narrow range, his low- to-mid register voice perfectly blends with the naturally deep sound of the album. The quick paced and deeper voice of 'One Percent' perfectly complements the lyrical content, focusing on that 'one percent' we've all heard of in the news. My only criticism with his vocal style is it seems Darran is trying to get too many words out with too little time. Perhaps fewer words or longer verses would solve the problem, but I nonetheless enjoy hearing him sing.

The orchestrations of 'Emergence' are weirdly complex, since it took me a few listens to realize how sophisticated the album really is. When at first I heard the continually rough and fuzzy rhythm guitar, I was later corrected when focusing on the individual components themselves. Darran's guitar style, although primarily rhythm-centric, are clearly more melodic than they lead on. Intricate fills and harmonies are incorporated throughout the album, especially in the choruses and pre-verses in the song 'Much Sinister.' The same goes with 'One Percent,' a song containing plenty of lead guitar overlapping a strong rhythm. Its catchy riffs and unforgettable outro make this song the most striking off the album, and is a song I always look forward to when playing this album. Much of the guitar on this album follows suit, with seemingly simple structures, that is, until you sit down and hear them. The drums, on the other hand, come across as complex as they sound (at least to me). There are so many powerful drum moments on 'Emergence,' but I especially love Steve's presence on the title track. Powerful, technical, and beautiful.

Album closer 'Lack of Scrutiny' is an interesting track, being one of the most non-Godsticks sounding songs on the album. With its eastern-influenced scales (a la Between The Buried And Me), the incorporation of horn instruments, and the drawn-out instrumental intro, the song is the most unique track on 'Emergence.' For an album that utilizes a similar formula for every track, 'Lack of Scrutiny' throws that comfortable feeling out the window. Because of the track's length (lasting nearly seven minutes), Godsticks takes advantage of the time to experiment as much as they wanted. The result is truly a gift, as the listener experiences the most dazing guitar rhythm, most prominent bass guitar, and soaring vocals on the album. What a great way to close off an album!

A solid performance, I urge everyone to purchase Godsticks' 'Emergence,' which will be available on September 4th.

Taken from Crash And Ride Music

 The Envisage Conundrum by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 18 ratings

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The Envisage Conundrum
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK trio GODSTICKS was formed back in 2006, initially as a cover band. They released their first EP with original material in 2008, followed by their full length debut album two years later. Come 2013, and they reappear with a new bassist in the shape of Dan Nelson, and their second album "The Envisage Conundrum". As with their previous productions this CD was self released by the band.

Accessible, melodic progressive rock is what the UK trio Godsticks provides on their second album. Dominated by carefully controlled, yet powerful melodic lead and backing vocals smoothing over an instrumental backdrop that is frequently more challenging and demanding than what you suspect first time around. A fairly intricate disc all in all, but with what one might describe as a mainstream sensibility to it. A creation to check out if accessible progressive rock with jazz-rock details and a firm emphasis on melodies and harmonies sounds like something you'd enjoy listening to.

 Godsticks by GODSTICKS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.05 | 7 ratings

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Godsticks
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars British trio of young musicians Darran Charles (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Steve Roberts (drums, keyboards) and Dan Nelson (bass).Godsticks started their career as a cover band in 2006, but the need of bringing some fresh air into the prog circles soon led them to creating their own material.Silently they debuted with a self-titled self-produced EP at the fall of 2008.

Did the band eventually achieved to come up with an original touch?Partly yes and partly no.One thing is for sure, ''Godsticks'' is a pleasant and highly enjoyable listening, mixing echoes from Progressive Rock, Fusion and Art Rock in a clear production.This is a very modern-sounding EP with plenty of twisting vocal work, but behind it these guys play some captivating and adventurous music.Actually a mix of ECHOLYN, TILES, A.C.T. and THIEVES' KITCHEN would pretty much describe Godsticks approach.Full of sudden breaks, Fusion-esque guitars, polyphonic harmonies, a crazy rhythm section but also some memorable passages, that stick in your mind, this British trio explores different territories of the music spectrum in a quiet innovative way.They are clever enough though to hide their obviously technical skills with plenty of lovely vocal arrangements, elegant piano lines or some refined acoustic hints.

Definitely a band to watch for the future.This EP shows Godsticks entering the world of Progressive/Art Rock in the smart way of combining virtuosic musicianship with warm vocal parts.Recommended.

 Spiral Vendetta by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 17 ratings

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Spiral Vendetta
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is one of those albums where the focus is on the vocals and lyrics. Sure we get some good instrumental music but rarely is that the focus. I'm not big on these types of records although I certainly have quite a few that I value highly. Unfortunately this isn't one of them.

The first track is exactly what i'm talking about with a short guitar solo before 1 1/2 minutes. "Unnerving Allure" has some nice bass in it and a guitar solo before 3 minutes followed by piano. "Timshel" is one i'm not too fond of with the prominant drumming and vocals. "Norman" has an aggressive intro and vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. This reminds me of ECHOLYN. This along with the only instrumental are my favourites. "Put Seven In Bold" is one I can't get into. The focus is on the vocals and there is this punchy sound.

"Withdraw" is a good vocal track. "Traverse" features piano and reserved vocals. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes. Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. "R.R.R." is punchy with vocals. "The Continuation Of Livid" is the instrumental I like. It's pretty intense and when it settles we get some nice bass. "Unravel" is acoustic guitar and vocal led. A nice song.

A good album no doubt, but not exactly my style of music.

 Spiral Vendetta by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 17 ratings

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Spiral Vendetta
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The UK outfit GODSTICKS was formed back in 2006, initially as a cover band. By 2008 they had written enough material to compile a 5-track EP which was met with generally positive feedback, including earning them a spot on the attached CD to the first issue of the now highly successful Classic Rock presents Prog magazine. "Spiral Vendetta" is the first full length production by this trio, and was self-released in the summer of 2010.

If you enjoy jazz rock and fusion, in particular if strong and distinct melodies suit your musical tastes, "Spiral Vendetta" is an album that should cater for most if not all of your needs. The easygoing nature of the songs makes it a good introduction to the genre for the curious as well, especially if venturing into this style of music from a more mainstream-oriented musical taste. All in all a solid effort that deserves attention.

 Spiral Vendetta by GODSTICKS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 17 ratings

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Spiral Vendetta
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A rare instance of progression in the modern "progressive" rock scene.

When it comes to progressive rock there are a few breeds of bands, those who make an effort to expand their musical talents to play an eclectic range of music, and those who get trapped in nostalgia. More often than not I find the latter in my cd player, and to be honest it's getting harder and harder to overlook the fact that some people can't do any more than throw up a 20-minute long synth solo that sounds like Genesis and call it a day. We're also coming to an age where things are simply starting to turn into a compensation contest. Frustrated musicians pumping out 78-minute long tracks as a gimmick to sell an album or two. Something happened somewhere in the road with progressive rock which has turned the majority of the artists in the scene into zombies, crunching out tunes that ultimately all sound the same.

Godsticks, on the other hand, have been one of the few bands that show that it doesn't have to end like this. Their debut album may not exactly be "hot on the heels" of their first EP, which emerged promisingly 2 years ago, but the wait has paid off. Spiral Vendetta shows a band who has taken the most of their time to refine and sharpen their sound. The first listens of this album are a little shocking if you were a hard-core listener to their debut EP. Things have really mellowed out overall in the band's music - and at first it does seem like a bad thing. However, after a number of listens it becomes very obvious that had the band decided to stick to the quirky sounds of their EP the ideas would have run out rather fast. Instead of trying to do what they've already done the band instead explores new ground, first put out on their EP with tunes like Clinical. New songs like Unnerving Allure show an incredibly matured band putting together a memorable piece of music. However, Godsticks would not be the same band that jumped off the page with Puppy Gardener if they didn't still have a bit of quirk left in them. Enter Norman, one of the album's biggest standout pieces. A frantic track that can pull together the energy of Gentle Giant without ever sounding like a clone act. If you're thinking that I'm contradicting myself with this comparison after my earlier rant then you clearly need to hear the song to believe it.

Standouts on the album are not hard to find. The band is able to openly show their musical chops without ever once going overboard into self-absorbed wankery. The Offer Still Stands is a strong opener that sets the more mellow mood while still promising a rougher edge. The Continuation Of Livid is a strong instrumental piece that once more closes the book on any questions (if there were any) in the band's ability to play. R.R.R. is a funkier piece that helps the album to be the eclectic collections of tunes that it is while Withdrawn Was The Giveaway slides in subtle moments of virtuoso playing to an easily digestible, mid-paced piece.

Ranting, raving and praise aside - Godsticks is a band that needs to be watched, because if they continue on this path of musicianship they could easily take over the dying world of progressive rock and imbue it with new life. This is an excellent addition to any music collection ("progressive" or otherwise), and I have full confidence that the band can only get even better from here. Heads up kiddies, there's a new band coming to make music progressive again.

 Godsticks by GODSTICKS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.05 | 7 ratings

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Godsticks
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Promising debut EP by this UK-based outfit.

Light and optimistic tunes dominate this 5-track EP; where the emphasis seems to be to create joyful and pleasant moods and atmospheres. The guitarwork is mostly of a mellow nature - acoustic guitars and undistorted clean patterns dominating - and the joyful spirit of the songs to some extent hides some rather nifty contributions by this instrument.

The vocals are the key feature in these excursions however; the instrumentation sets up a foundation for Darran Charles charming vocals first and foremost; and besides his vocal assets a distinct bass guitar is the most noticeable element on this production. Personally I found the jazz-tinged affair "Puppy Gardener" to be a standout effort here; especially the first half or so of this song highlights instrumental contrasts and musical complexities in a nice and captivating manner.

Still, joyful art pop is the name of the game here - and those looking for pleasant tunes of this nature should find this EP a rewarding experience.

 Godsticks by GODSTICKS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.05 | 7 ratings

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Godsticks
Godsticks Crossover Prog

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another excellent crossover act to pay attention to!

This band with their debut EP really came out of nowhere to make an excellent strike at the progressive community. What we have here is a 3-piece band out of Wales with a very unique and intriguing sound, and though this EP is only the start to what should be a promising career, it really is an excellent listen time after time. Running at 22-minutes in length the disc is just about a full blown studio release anyways, and the amount of polish and effort put into the disc really separate this band from a lot of other bands attempting to hit it off.

Godsticks must have learned something in their early days as a cover band, because it is really hard to compare them to any other band. The band plays a style of music that is almost unclassifiable, it's surprisingly 'large' sounding for a 3-piece group and it has enough funk to it to make you want to dance. Still there's a heavy amount of keyboards and virtuosic musicianship to make the hardcore proggers turn their head in notice. Speed changes in some of the songs make for some spine chilling moments that will bring a smile to your face just about every time, and the unmistakable groove in many of the songs just makes you want to put them on repeat. Jason Marsh is immediately a notable player with his aggressive style of bass playing that dominates many of the tracks as ''The Fish'' once did in Yes. The intro to Puppy Gardener is an absolutely wonderful fiasco of bass playing until the rest of the band comes in. While this song is definitely the highlight of the entire disc it's not only because of the bass playing. Steve Roberts makes the skins interesting with his playing that can keep your head bobbing while Darran Charles distinct voice delivers some quirky lines and his subtle, yet effective guitar playing add yet another layer to the music.

Of course, let's not forget about the rest of these excellent tracks. Not The Face opens up the fray with a splash of keyboards before moving right into the tune. If there's one thing you really have to respect about this band it has got to be the way they are able to maneuver through concisely written tunes as though they had 20-minutes to let a song unfold. The songs are all fairly short, between 3-6 minutes each, but all the songs have enough time to develop themes and nothing ever feels like it's 'cut short'. Only When Provoked opens up with some soothing guitar reminiscent of an emotional Joe Satriani and that dominant bass which leads into the main section of the song. Excellent melodies help make this one yet another standout on the album.

The second half of the EP is a lot more 'calm', but no less impressive. Venial is a pleasing and very serene tune that has a nice little breakdown coming into the beginning of the chorus. That unmissable funk comes back full force in this song but still manages to stay subtle throughout the tune, making for a very pleasing combination of laid back and demanding - like a perfectly mixed drink. A wonderfully emotive guitar solo from Charles coming into the second half is enough to give you chills as the song slowly makes its way to the end. It ends with another calm tune in the form of Clinical which is largely reminiscent of a progressive version of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Charles makes subdued use of his voice, as he seems to know its limits well. By the time the album ends you'll no doubt be salivating for more.

It seems like there's been a lot of excellent debut EPs sprouting up all over the place. Between these guys and other acts like Mekhlin there's a very promising new progressive scene emerging that has a very unique sound that should shush all the nay-sayers who are saying that progressive music is becoming stale. Like Mekhlin this band has released an excellent and highly impressive disc with this EP, and people should really start to focus their attention when the band starts recording their first studio album. This one is going to get 3.5 post-it notes out of 5 for an incredibly strong 22-minute debut that shows an impeccable amount of promise. Highly recommended, and let's hope a studio release is not too far away.

Thanks to King-By-Tor for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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